ARC’s New Bike/Ped Plan Available for Public Comment

December 10, 2015

Walk Bike Thrive! – ARC’s new regional walking and bicycling plan – is now online for public comment at

The plan is divided into three parts – Recommendations; Regional Travel Assessment; and Public Participation.

Part 1 details strategies to help build walk-friendly and bike-friendly communities across the Atlanta region and make walking and bicycling safe, convenient, and normal ways to travel. Recommendations also include the region’s first comprehensive vision for a connected regional trail network.

Part 2 is a by-the-numbers look at how active transportation impacts the safety, mobility, and economic competitiveness of the region.

Part 3 highlights the public support for walkable communities and a bike-friendly region.

ARC will be accepting comments on the plan through January 15, 2016. Please send comments to

Learn How Transit Affects Your Business This Friday, Dec. 11

December 7, 2015

In the Atlanta Regional Commission’s 2015 “Metro Atlanta Speaks” public opinion survey, 27% of respondents said transportation was the biggest problem facing the region, the second consecutive year transportation topped the list of concerns. In that same survey, 91% of respondents said improving public transit is “very important” or “somewhat important” to Atlanta’s future.

So, what does this mean for you and your business? How can transit options help your employees be more productive? How can you use transit benefits as an incentive to recruit and retain employees?

You’re invited to a unique breakfast and learning opportunity on this topic this coming Friday, December 11 from 8:30-10:30 a.m. at One Atlantic Center – 1201 West Peachtree Street NE, Atlanta, GA 30309 in the Concourse Level Conference Center.

A range of partners has come together to share ideas at this event about the importance of transit to the region. A dynamic panel of local employers will discuss their perspectives on the importance of transit; information will be shared about transit benefits and tools available to employers; and you will learn more about development plans around stations and upcoming campaigns for transit funding.

Speakers include:

  • Dave Williams, Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce
  • Amanda Rhein, MARTA
  • Sarah Kirsch, Urban Land Institute Atlanta
  • Eric Ganther, The Coca-Cola Company
  • Mark Toro,  North American Properties
  • Scott Stuckey, Omni Hotel
  • Nathaniel Smith, Partnership for Southern Equity
  • Odetta Macleish-White, Enterprise Community Partners, TransFormation Alliance

To register for the event, visit

2015 CREATE Community Awards – Nominations Now Being Accepted

December 7, 2015

The ARC CREATE Community Awards honor local governments and its partners for their creative efforts to improve efficiency and services to citizens of the metro area in six categories:

  • Community Development and Collaboration
  • Regional Prosperity and Economic Development
  • Environment Sustainability
  • Arts & Culture
  • Technology
  • Educational Excellence

Nominations are now being accepted for this year’s awards cycle. The application deadline is 5:00 p.m. on January 8, 2016.

Learn more and apply at


Any city or county in the 10-county Atlanta region is eligible to apply. Applications must be submitted by a city or county. However, joint applications demonstrating collaborative partnerships with chambers of commerce, school systems, neighborhood organizations, community improvement districts, nonprofits and other community organizations are strongly encouraged.


For more information, contact Katrina DeBerry at 404-463-3211 or

Applications Now Being Accepted for ARC Livable Centers Initiative (LCI) Studies

October 20, 2015

Applications are now being accepted for ARC Livable Centers Initiative (LCI) Studies.

This application is intended for new LCI study areas, LCI major plan updates, supplemental studies and activities that help to implement an existing LCI study.

All applications must be received by 5:00 p.m. on Monday, December 7.

ARC has $800,000 available in 2016, and all applicants must contribute a minimum of 20 percent toward the total study budget. ARC typically receives 20-25 applications and is able to award funding to 8-10 applicants.

If you are applying for a new LCI study area, we encourage you to discuss your proposed application and study area with ARC Community Development staff prior to submission. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Amy Goodwin at or 404-463-3311, or Marisa Ghani at or 404-463-3309.

To review important information and apply, visit:

Registration Open for ARC Community Planning Academy “Training for Planning Officials”

September 9, 2015

Registration is now open for the ARC Community Planning Academy Fall 2015 course, “Training for Planning Officials.” This class is targeted at citizen planners (e.g., members of planning commissions, zoning review boards, etc.), local government planning staff and elected officials in the Atlanta region.

The course consists of three parts on three separate days, from 7:30 a.m.-4:00 p.m. each day:

  • Friday, October 16
  • Monday, November 16
  • Monday, December 14

Course Description:

The landscape of planning in metro Atlanta has changed in recent years. State planning standards have been amended, the economy is growing again, and communities in many parts of the region are facing tough decisions on how and where they will grow. This course provides citizen planners and community leaders with the technical knowledge and leadership skills necessary to successfully plan vibrant communities.

Day One – Friday, October 16 – 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Introduces you to the foundations of planning in Georgia and the Atlanta region. This includes a historical basis of land use planning and regulation; an overview of legislation and case law related to planning and development; and sessions on contemporary issues in local and regional planning and how longevity is impacting the growth of our communities.

Day Two – Monday, November 16 – 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Offers a demographic snapshot of the region and provides critical information on more special topics in planning, including how to navigate the complexity of transportation planning and natural resource planning given the changing dynamics of metro Atlanta.

Day Three – Monday, December 14 – 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Provides focused guidance on how to make use of course information in the activities of your planning commission, and how to build capacity and exercise effective leadership.

To learn more about the course and to register, visit

2015 Developments of Excellence Nomination Period Closes This Friday 9/4

September 1, 2015

Each year, the Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) honors trend-setting private and public development projects, as well as places that improve the region’s quality of life, through the Developments of Excellence Awards.

ARC is still accepting nominations in the following categories through close of business this Friday, Sept. 4.

  • Development of Excellence – projects that exemplify exceptional design and sustainability while contributing to regional goals such as urban revitalization, transit accessibility, affordable housing and economic development.
  • Great Places – places such as neighborhoods, streets, civic spaces or parks that contribute to the Atlanta region’s character and provide choices for where and how people work and live.
  • LCI Achievement Award – developments or projects that significantly advance the implementation of a community’s Livable Centers Initiative (LCI) plan. This award may also go more generally to an entire community that has excelled in the implementation of its LCI plan.

To learn more and submit a nomination, visit ARC’s Developments of Excellence webpage.

Again, nominations are due on Friday, Sept. 4.

Winners will be announced at ARC’s annual State of the Region Breakfast on Friday, Oct. 30.

Nominations Now Being Accepted for 2015 ARC Developments of Excellence Awards

July 21, 2015

Through its annual Developments of Excellence (DOE) Awards, ARC honors trend-setting private and public development projects that advance and implement the policies of ARC’s Regional Plan, PLAN 2040. The award nomination period is now open!

To compete for the top DOE Award, nominations should exemplify exceptional design and sustainability while contributing to regional goals such as urban revitalization, transit accessibility, affordable housing and economic development.

In addition, ARC is accepting nominations for a Great Place Award. This award category highlights places such as neighborhoods, streets, civic spaces or parks that contribute to the Atlanta region’s character and provide choices for where and how people work and live. Great Places are enjoyable, safe and desirable and can serve as regional models for future growth. The possibilities are open. The Great Place category was added to the DOE program in 2011 to reflect the incredible places that comprise our diverse region.

Finally, through this awards program, ARC presents an LCI Achievement Award, which honors a development or project that significantly advances the implementation of a community’s Livable Centers Initiative (LCI) plan. This award can also go more generally to an entire community that has excelled in the implementation of its LCI plan.

ARC wants to hear from you. What is your idea of a Development of Excellence, Great Place or exceptional LCI community that helps make the Atlanta region special?

Nominate a deserving project, place or LCI area by the close of business on Friday, September 4. Then mark your calendar for ARC’s annual State of the Region Breakfast on Friday, October 30 to find out the winners.

To learn more and submit a nomination, visit ARC’s Developments of Excellence webpage.

Contact Andrew Smith at or 404-463-5581 with questions.

Community Conversation on Regional Competitiveness: June 23, 5:30 p.m.

June 16, 2015

On Tuesday, June 23 from 5:30-8:00 p.m. at the Loudermilk Center in Atlanta (40 Courtland St. NE, Atlanta, GA 30303), the region is coming together to dive into the challenges and bright spots in our region’s economic competitiveness. This Community Conversation on Regional Competitiveness is part of the overall Atlanta Regional Competitiveness Initiative.

Craig Lesser, Managing Partner, Pendleton Group, and Chairman, Atlanta Regional Competitiveness Initiative, and Dan Chapman, writer of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Atlanta Forward series, will begin the conversation with a discussion of what is going well in the region and what challenges we still face.

A response panel will follow, moderated by Carol Sbarge of WSB-TV, and comprised of Dr. Rajeev Dhawan, Director of the Economic Forecasting Center at Georgia State University; Dr. Dan Kaufman, President, Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce; and the Hon. Stacey Abrams, Minority Leader, Georgia House of Representatives. Hala Moddelmog, President and CEO of the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce, will wrap up the discussion with insights gained from the ChooseATL campaign – a marketing campaign designed to promote our region by getting at the heart of what makes our region unique.

For more information and to register, visit

Atlanta Regional Foreclosure Initiative Wins National Award

June 11, 2015

Piece by Piece Recognized by National Housing Conference with Housing Visionary Award

(Atlanta, Georgia) The National Housing Conference (NHC) will honor metro Atlanta’s Piece by Piece foreclosure response initiative today with the 2015 Housing Visionary Award at its annual gala in Washington, D.C. The award recognizes organizations or individuals shaping the path forward for affordable housing in America through leadership, innovation and a focus on people, communities and partnership.

The Piece by Piece Initiative, staffed by Atlanta Neighborhood Development Partnership (ANDP), was created in 2010 to bolster regional response to the foreclosure crisis and its impact on metro Atlanta families and neighborhoods. This unprecedented approach to combatting the foreclosure crisis engaged more than 155 public and private organizations and was guided by a leadership group that includes ANDP, the Atlanta Regional Commission, Clearpoint Counseling, Enterprise Community Partners, the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, the Greater Atlanta Home Builders Association, The Home Depot Foundation, the National Housing Conference and NeighborWorks America.

“NHC is pleased to recognize ANDP and Piece by Piece for their work in stabilizing metro Atlanta neighborhoods and for crafting a unique partnership that engages hundreds of organizations and neighborhood leaders in the effort,” said NHC President Chris Estes. “By focusing on issues of property taxes, negative equity, code enforcement, housing counseling, loan modifications and more, Piece by Piece has helped metro Atlantans toward a path of greater neighborhood recovery.”

In the last five years, Piece by Piece has convened sector-specific groups including local government housing departments, housing counseling agencies, lenders and policy makers. The initiative has also brought leading private equity firms to Atlanta to discuss their acquisitions and impact on local neighborhoods. Piece by Piece events have featured former HUD Secretaries Henry Cisneros and Shaun Donovan, and most recently, NeighborWorks America CEO, Paul Weech.

“We are pleased to accept this recognition on behalf of 155 metro Atlanta partner organizations. We also acknowledge the guidance and support of our leadership organizations. Together, we’ve crafted a regional response to attack the crisis on multiple fronts to help stabilize families and neighborhoods hit hard by the lingering impacts of the crisis,” said ANDP President & CEO John O’Callaghan. “We applaud the work of NHC, the nation’s oldest housing advocacy organization, to maintain a strong spotlight on affordable housing and community development.”

In addition to Piece by Piece, NHC will also recognize The Community Properties Initiative led by Ohio Capital Corporation for Housing.

For more details about NHC and its Housing Visionary Award, visit

For more details about the Piece by Piece Initiative, visit

Atlanta Regional Housing Forum on June 3 – Speakers Announced

May 28, 2015

Make plans now to attend the Atlanta Regional Housing Forum on Wednesday, June 3 from 9:00-11:45 a.m. at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church (435 Peachtree Street NE, Atlanta, GA 30308. Note: Free parking is available across the street from St. Luke’s).


  • Rev. Howard Beckham, Executive Director, Integrity Transformations Community Development Corporation
  • Young T. Hughley, Consultant and former Executive Director of Reynoldstown Revitalization Corporation
  • Scott Marcelais, Executive Director, Housing Authority of the City of Roswell

Topic: “Gentrification in Atlanta”

For more information and to register, visit And remember, please bring canned or non-perishable food items for donation to the Atlanta Community Food Bank!

Program Description:

As Atlanta’s economy improves, there is significant growth in residential real estate development – and with this growth, concerns about gentrification are heightened. Many in-town neighborhoods like West End, East Atlanta, Kirkwood, and Old Fourth Ward have been growing in popularity – and price – much to the dismay of some long-term residents. New investments in the Westside and along the BeltLine are creating even more angst and concern about the gentrification of formerly affordable neighborhoods.

Coined in 1964 by sociologist Ruth Glass, gentrification generally refers to the process of neighborhood change when an influx of wealthier residents move to poorer neighborhoods that are undergoing increased economic investment. Simply put, development activity improves conditions, results in new assets, increases desirability and places upward pressure on rental rates and home prices. When rental rates and property taxes soar, it ceases to be a choice for low-income residents to stay in the neighborhood they call home. Many feel overwhelmed by the rapid development and changing socioeconomic and racial makeup of their community. Others report a loss of community identity, cultural heritage and political clout.

But there are those who tout the benefits of such housing market activity. They point to stabilized neighborhoods, increased job opportunities, decreased crime, more attention to public infrastructure and services, increased tax revenues, and increased property values.

Beyond the challenge of creating opportunities for low-income households to remain in gentrifying communities, there’s the unprecedented challenge of addressing the impact of displaced families relocating to car-dependent suburbs. Many suburban jurisdictions are lacking the program infrastructure needed to accommodate the shifting demographics. According to the Brookings Institution, Atlanta’s suburban poor population rose 159% between 2000 and 2011, compared to 67% nationally. In fact, 88% of the metro area’s poor live outside the city of Atlanta – a statistic surely impacted by Atlanta’s ongoing issue of gentrification.

No one wants blighted, disinvested, and impoverished neighborhoods. But for many, the solution seems to be kicking the can down the road – to the suburbs. How can all parties involved examine and address the issue in a manner that serves everyone equitably? What tools are new to the gentrification response toolbox? Where is the most current and accurate data? A decade ago, the Reynoldstown community worked hard to manage the impact of gentrification. What lessons can we learn from Reynoldstown? Can we apply those lessons in new developments on the Westside and along the BeltLine?

Join us at the next Atlanta Regional Housing Forum as we discuss the issue of gentrification.

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